Age of the child does not matter. Children as young as newborns have been sexually abused.
However, the type of abuse may vary with the age of the child. Pre-adolescents and adolescents are more vulnerable to rape & forced prostitution.</li></ul>*Estimated based on percentage of all abuse cases from OK state.<br />(OKDHS, 2010; Finkelhor, et al, 2008). <br />
Children who have been recruited to be used in sexually exploitative commercial enterprises such as prostitution and/or pornography have tended to come from:<br />Poverty level, low income families<br />Divorced or single parent homes<br />Tend to have low self-esteem<br />May have already experimented with drugs or alcohol<br />Need a hug, love from an adult<br />Many are groomed for years via the Internet and social networking sites, before the “meet” happens.<br />Sex trafficking victims are often afraid to come forward.<br />(United Way, 2010). <br />All of it is horrible<br />But who may be more vulnerable to exploitation, via sex trafficking?<br />
Has sexual abuse taken place? <br />• Memories, nightmares, or fears about the abuse.<br />• Changes in eating and sleeping patterns. <br />• Avoidance of activities or particular situation.<br />May include avoiding an area or a person<br />• Withdrawal or depression.<br />Have the child’s friends stopped playing/communicating with the child?<br />• Irritability, crankiness, or short-tempered behavior.<br />• Difficulty concentrating.<br />May include a drop in grades and sloppy homework.<br />• Acting out sexually. (Harborview, 2008).<br />Is your student behaving differently?<br />Signs of Sexual Abuse<br />
Before the assault<br />After the assault<br />In-school education<br />Darkness to Light<br />7-point plan that brings awareness (Argosy Univ., 2010).<br />Online Safety – the new stranger danger<br />Be aware of who is on the other side.<br />Do not meet strangers alone.<br />Educate parents/guardians on how to help their children stay safe online.<br />Peer to peer mentoring<br />Highly effective at getting child victims to open up about their experience (Argosy Univ., 2010)<br />Improves resiliency, especially when in tandem with other counseling programs.<br />Be available for the victim, listen to them, protect their privacy (Harborview, 2008). <br />Prevention programs<br />
References<br />Argosy University. (2010). PSY301 XE: children and violence, Lecture Notes. Retrieved on November 14, 2010 from www.myeclassonline.com<br />Finkelhor, D., Hammer, H., Sedlak, A. J. (2008, August). NISMART: Sexually assaulted children: national estimates and characteristics. Washington, D. C.: United States Department of Justice<br />Harborview Medical Center. (2008). Taking care of your child after sexual abuse. Retrieved on November 14, 2010 from depts.washington.edu/<br />hcsats/PDF/infobrochures/taking_care.pdf<br />Oklahoma Department of Human Services. (2009). Child abuse and neglect statistics, state fiscal year 2009 (July 2008 – June 2009). Oklahoma City, OK: Author.<br />United Way of Central Oklahoma. (2010). Human trafficking special edition. Oklahoma County Vital Signs (1)3. Oklahoma City, OK: Author.<br />